Wind Mobile Strikes Exclusive One-Year Deal to Bring Cell Service to Toronto Subway System

by Istvan Fekete on June 18, 2015

Wind Mobile has announced that it has inked an exclusive one-year deal with BAI Canada to bring cellular service to its customers using the downtown underground portions of the Toronto Subway. The announcement could be a selling point to attract more users to the nation’s fourth-largest carrier, which currently serves more than 800,000 wireless subscribers.

Wind is the first wireless player to sign a deal with BAI Canada and won the contract in 2012 from the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) to implement Wi-Fi and cellular coverage in the subway system. There was a problem, though: To date, commuters have been able to connect only to an ad-supported Wi-Fi network in select downtown subway stations.

With Wind Mobile on board, that’s about to change: The carrier will benefit from the existing infrastructure, which currently offers connectivity on 18 platforms in 15 subway stations. As of writing this article, Wind’s cellular coverage was live at three stations: St. George, Bay, and Bloor-Yonge. More stations will come online during this summer’s Pan American Games.

Cellular and Wi-Fi coverage is still missing throughout the subway tunnels, but BAI promised that’s going to be solved in the next few years.

In an interview with the Globe and Mail, Wind CEO Alek Krstajic said that the carrier has exclusive rights for a year.

“Rogers, Bell and Telus could have come on some time ago, but they chose not to, full stop,” Mr. Krstajic said at the news conference, adding that based on his previous experience as one-time president of Bell Mobility, “I can tell you large companies sometimes have a tough time doing innovative things.”

Any carrier who wants to join the game needs to play by the rules Wind outlines and will need to roam on Wind’s network if they want to offer a cellular service sooner.

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Written by: Istvan Fekete. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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